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Moving to Tortola, Brit. Virgin Isl. | Expat Exchange
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Moving to Tortola, the British Virgin Islands

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 09, 2023

Summary: Moving to Tortola, Brit. Virgin Isl.: Expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about everything you need to know before moving to Tortola.

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What do I need to know before moving to Tortola?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Tortola, they said:

"Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands, known for its beautiful beaches, lush mountains, and crystal-clear waters. English is the official language, but you may hear locals speaking a Creole dialect. The currency used is the US dollar, so there's no need to worry about exchange rates if you're coming from the United States. The cost of living is relatively high, especially for housing and groceries, due to the fact that most goods are imported. It's important to note that Tortola is a tax haven, meaning there are no capital gains, inheritance or corporation taxes. The climate is tropical, with temperatures remaining fairly consistent year-round, but be prepared for hurricane season which typically runs from June to November. Driving is on the left side of the road, and the terrain can be quite hilly and winding. Public transportation is limited, so having a car is almost a necessity. Healthcare facilities are limited and serious medical conditions may require evacuation to another island or the mainland. It's recommended to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical evacuation. The island is relatively safe, but like anywhere, petty crime can occur, so it's important to take standard precautions. The pace of life is slower and more relaxed than in many Western countries, which can be a big adjustment. The local cuisine is a blend of African, European, and Indian influences, with seafood being a prominent feature. Finally, Tortola is a popular destination for sailing and yachting, with many opportunities to rent or charter boats," explained one expat living in Tortola, the British Virgin Islands.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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